Diplomacy as Negotiation and Mediation
I. William Zartman
Diplomacy is mostly negotiation, and negotiation is the primary business of foreign policy and international relations. Negotiations take place when needed, that is, when a party (state) feels it cannot handle a problem or conflict by itself, and the problem/conflict needs handling, because it is troublesome and costly. Many conflicts/problems involve third parties or crutches of trust, to carry communications between the involved parties, supply ideas and formulas for agreement, and even improve the benefits available with an agreed outcome. Multilateral negotiations are frequently used to set up international regimes, agreed upon norms, rules, principles, and expectations to handle issue areas of common concern. The biggest challenge to diplomacy is that of prevention, to handle conflicts before they become violent, keep violent conflicts from escalating, and move conflicts and problems from management to resolution.